The Chestico Museum & Historical Society was established in 1978 by a dedicated group of local residents who wanted to preserve Port Hood’s history and heritage. A large collection of artifacts was acquired from the estate of Lee Hart (the son of prominent Port Hood merchant, John S. Hart) and this became the foundation of the establishment of the Chestico Museum. A former two room school house was purchased from the Inverness County school board and renovated to accomodate the collection. This opened to the public in July of 1986 and has been the scene of many activities over the years. A museum manager and summer student have been in place each summer from June 1 to August 31. During the year, special events are held highlighting many cultural and heritage aspects of Port Hood’s history.
The Chestico Museum & Historical Society first initiated Chestico Days, Port Hood’s well known summer festival, and has been a co-sponsor of this event, along with the Port Hood and District Recreation Commission, every year since its inception. The society also hosts the Close to the Floor concert of Celtic Colours each year in October at Strathspey Place. This highlights the Cape Breton step dancing tradition which has been strongly supported in the area. Of course the society also organizes Port Hood’s well known Step Dancing Festival, Ceol nan Cas (Music of the Feet), in conjunction with Chestico Days.
Numerous research projects have been undertaken by our volunteers highlighting our World War veterans, war brides, Premier Angus L. MacDonald (who lived in Port Hood in his early years), and our local heritage properties. Slide presentations, small ceilidhs and concerts are held throughout the year. Other special activities have been creating a heritage float for the Chestico Days parade every summer and honouring Chestico Couples and Pioneer People during the festival.
Below is a gallery of photos of some recent events sponsored by the Chestico Museum & Historical Society. No doubt you will see some familiar faces!